DMPS to Offer Girls Wrestling; Hires Program’s First Head Coach

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Samantha Bush will be the first girls wrestling coach at DMPS since the sport was sanctioned by the IGHSAU.

In a year that marks the 50th anniversary of Title IX – which led to more opportunities for female athletes – Des Moines Public Schools is offering a new opportunity for female student-athletes: wrestling. This marks the first year wrestling is a sport sanctioned by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union.

In addition, the school district has hired the first head coach for the girls wrestling program: Samantha Bush.

I believe that wrestling is a great sport for young women,” said Bush. “It teaches responsibility, self-defense and it gives a sense of great self-confidence which I believe to be very important for young women everywhere.”

For this first season, DMPS will have offer a district-wide united team; East High School will be the host school and sponsor of the team. Assistant coaches will be assigned to the Hoover-North program as well as at East, Lincoln and Roosevelt; Coach Bush will rotate between the schools to work with all participating students. Student-athletes interested in participating should talk to their high school activities director. According to the IGHSAU, the first day of practice is October 31 and competition can begin November 14.

“As a school district, we take pride in being able to offer extra-curricular and co-curricular opportunities that meet the growing needs of our talented and culturally-diverse student population,” said Jason Allen, director of district activities at DMPS. “The addition of high school girls wresting further supports our commitment to expand access and opportunities for our female athletes, honoring the legacy and spirit of women past and present during the 50th anniversary of Title IX.”

Bush brings a range of experience to the sport. She is currently the assistant coach of the woman’s wrestling club at Grand View University. Bush was captain of and a starter on the women’s wrestling team at MacMurray College in Illinois before transferring to Grand View, where she is completing her degree in psychology. She has been a top finisher at several state and regional competitions in both high school and college.

“I am hoping to build the team in a positive direction. Through hard work and dedication, I am hoping to build numbers and create a wrestling team that has success on and off the mat, including academics and their personal lives,” added Bush. I am so excited to be part of this historic inaugural season, not only for East High and Des Moines Public Schools, but for the entire sport of women’s wrestling. I am looking forward to working with the girls and being able to give back to the sport that helped me grow as a person and an athlete!”

For more information about girls’ wrestling as a sanctioned high school sport, visit the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union’s web site.